Make easy mini shepherds pies with no crust in individual dishes for a dinner party or weeknight meal. Use ground beef or lamb, frozen vegetables, and prepared mashed potatoes for this quick main dish casserole recipe.
Mini shepherd’s pies
Individual mini shepherd’s pies are ideal for serving family or entertaining guests for St. Patrick’s day or an Irish themed dinner party.
This recipe is comfort food at its best, and it’s full of flavor. That makes it perfect to add to a fall or winter dinner party menu.
Make these in mini baking dishes for individual servings, or put the ingredients into a baking dish and cook for about 30 minutes.
What you’ll love about this recipe
Other than the delicious combination of ingredients and the ease of putting it together, here are some more reasons to make mini cottage pies.
- Make it in single servings or in a large casserole.
- Use ground beef or lamb.
- This recipe uses shortcuts to save time, like refrigerated prepared mashed potatoes and frozen vegetables.
- You can assemble it ahead and bake it when ready.
What is shepherd’s pie?
Traditional shepherd’s pie gets its origins from the UK and Ireland, and is made with ground lamb or mutton. A topping of mashed potatoes is standard but the additional flavorings can vary from recipe to recipe. So to be precise these are actually “cottage pies” since they’re made with ground beef.
How to make it
- Thaw – Let the frozen vegetables thaw in the refrigerator over night, or in the microwave according to package directions.
- Brown – Cook the ground meat in a skillet until it’s cooked through and no longer pink.
- Combine – Add the remaining filling ingredients EXCEPT carrots, into the meat and cook together.
- Assemble – Divide the filling mixture into four baking dishes, then add a layer of carrots, and spread a layer of mashed potatoes on top.
- Bake – Bake in the oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes for individual servings, or 30 minutes for a full casserole pan.
You can prepare the fillings and layer everything in the baking dishes ahead of time. Just cover with aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator.
When ready, pull them out of the fridge and place them in a cold oven. THEN turn the oven on so the ceramic dish warms up with the oven. Otherwise, taking the cold dish to a hot oven can result in a broken dish!
You can freeze shepherd’s pie. Once assembled, wrap it tightly with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. It should keep well in the freezer for several months.
Thaw in the refrigerator before baking it.
Easy Dinner Party Recipe
- Make these for a themed dinner party for St. Patrick’s day, and include an Irish beer like Guinness to wash it down.
- Serve mini shepherd’s pies with crusty bread and a green and orange salad.
- Welcome guests with a St. Patrick’s day cocktail while waiting for dinner to cook.
- These shamrock shooters with creme de menthe would make a unique after dinner or pre-dessert drink.
- If you’re entertaining children you can incorporate this “lucky number” game.
- 1 pound ground beef or lamb
- 1 – 15 oz. can Beefy Mushroom soup
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 cup frozen carrots, thawed
- 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes
Cook ground meat all the way through, and drain excess fat.
Add soup and cornstarch to beef and continue cooking on high until it reaches a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring; reduce to low until thickened.
Add peas and Worcestershire to meat mixture, and combine.
Begin layering in 4 small ramekins or baking dishes: meat mixture, carrots, mashed potatoes.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, and serve.
You can also place ingredients in a 2 quart casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.